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matthewcline

Staff Drug Testing as a Condition of Employment.

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It occurs to me that if you really want to be sure that substance abuse isn't putting your business at risk, you need to test the jumpers too.

Any one of them could do something that brings down the whole airplane.

A truly safe operation needs to have all involved in that safety.

Your staff deserves that same peace of mind as your customers do.

So, if you test the staff, test the jumpers too.

We're all in this together.

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Use on your own time is not a safety issue, period.


I would hate to be the DZO on the witness stand trying to defend that statement. If the DZO knew or should have known about the Safety meetings and did nothing to prevent them, he is screwed. Period.



Is a defendant required to testify?

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You got me there. I should have said, "I'd hate to be the lawyer who had to defend the DZO in the lawsuit . . ." I don't think too many lawyers would argue the position that daily pot use by anyone working at a DZ is not a safety issue.
For the same reason I jump off a perfectly good diving board.

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You got me there. I should have said, "I'd hate to be the lawyer who had to defend the DZO in the lawsuit . . ." I don't think too many lawyers would argue the position that daily pot use by anyone working at a DZ is not a safety issue.



BUT , now that it is a legal drug, with card carrying user's, seems unenforceable...[:/] I'd think a card holder could sue for being unfairly released...But then, we are contractors, they really don't need an excuse...

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You got me there. I should have said, "I'd hate to be the lawyer who had to defend the DZO in the lawsuit . . ." I don't think too many lawyers would argue the position that daily pot use by anyone working at a DZ is not a safety issue.



There is daily use, and there is daily abuse. Apply to pot, alcohol, OTC drugs, prescription drugs, whatever.

Pot will likely be legal again. Legalization came close to passing in CA last November.

It this about the legality or the impairment?

"Use" is not the issue, "abuse" is.

Legality is not the issue, impairment is.

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Use on your own time is not a safety issue, period.


I would hate to be the DZO on the witness stand trying to defend that statement. If the DZO knew or should have known about the Safety meetings and did nothing to prevent them, he is screwed. Period.



Is a defendant required to testify?



In a civil lawsuit a defendant can be compelled to testify unless his testimony would expose him to criminal prosecution. The defendant would need to explain that evidence to a judge in order to avoid testifying. As for the earlier statement, the existence of Safety meetings doesn't necessarily "screw" a DZ in a lawsuit. The law requires there be 1) gross negligence; and 2) harm; 3) caused by the gross negligence. If your sole evidence of gross negligence is that a packer or TM/JM smoked a joint the night before the incident (or even smoked every night after jumping), the plaintiff is going to have a hard time convincing a jury that the person was impaired and that impairment caused the injury. Now if the evidence is that the guy/gal smoked a joint right before they got on the plane or packed the rig, that's another issue.


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What are people thoughts on requiring a drug test to obtain an instructional/coach rating with USPA?



Pretty much worthless. Don't use for a set period of time before the test, pass the test & go back to using. Doesn't solve or accomplish anything other than maybe convincing the applicant that they don't need to use in order to enjoy life.

It also doesn't address the issue of alcohol abuse.


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" ... I'm still surprised at the number of 'skydiving professionals' that act like their business/employment is all about them and not about the customer.

"

..................................................................

They are too immature to understand who pays to support their "lifestyle."

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BUT , now that it is a legal drug, with card carrying user's, seems unenforceable... I'd think a card holder could sue for being unfairly released...



I don't think the legality of weed is the question here. The article stated that the packers were seen both drinking beer and smoking pot during the workday, while packing parachutes. So the issue is the impairment of the packers while working. If the weed was not a factor, the drinking of perfecly legal beer while packing parachutes would be an issue on it's own.

I don't know of a 'law' or FAR with regards to substance abude while packing, but I do know that no jury anywhere in this country would ever find that to be a prudent and reasonable way for parachute packers to condict themselves, and the DZO would get no smypathy for allowing that to transpire.

It reminds me of the old 'Cops' episode where they pull over a car with two guys and they find weed in the car. They come to find out that both of these guys work at a DZ, one is an instructor and the other is a packer.

I laughed my ass off, and thought that it sounded about right, but he cops recoiled in horror and seemed to think that the DZ was some sort of death camp and that these 'potheads' were risking everyones life. I'm sure a jury would alaign itself with the attitude of the cops.

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Agreed!
Bosses can be hopelessly hypocritical over drug use.
One of the reasons I quit the Canadian Armed Forces was over their hypocritical attitudes towards recreational drugs.
On the one hand, the CAF required you to consume so much caffeine, nicotene and alcohol that you were at risk of addiction, but if you touched any drugs on the "B" list, they would throw you in jail and give you a dishonorable discharge.

When I left the CAF , I did not fit in because I refused to smoke tobacco (something about it aggravated my asthma) Second-hand smoke always gave me sinus headaches.
I was drinking so much caffeine that I could not sleep at night, which affected my job performance. And I drank and drove so often that I had a couple of "conversations" with the military poilce, but no discipline.
I overheard a Chief trying to get one of my colleagues promoted, if they would merely overlook the fact that he was in jail for drunken driving ...
Holy hypocritical Batman!

I would only agree to drug testing if the boss led by example and peed in a bottle - at random, any workday morning - before asking an employee for a sample.
Oh!
And the boss's sample would have to be tested for ALL recreational and prescription drugs.

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I do know that no jury anywhere in this country would ever find that to be a prudent and reasonable way for parachute packers to condict themselves, and the DZO would get no smypathy for allowing that to transpire.



"Prudent and reasonable" would be the standard of care in a negligence lawsuit. The waiver prevents an injured party from bring a negligence lawsuit (assuming that the injured signed a waiver). Any lawsuit for injuries would have to be brought under a theory of gross negligence (courts will not recognize a waiver of gross negligence). The standard of care in gross negligence is a wanton or reckless disregard for life or limb (basically not giving a s**t).

Impairment on the job is most likely going to meet the gross negligence standard of care, and expose the DZ to liability.


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Use during work is absolutely a problem and should not be tolerated. Use on your own time is not a safety issue, period. As mentioned by others you basically single out the pot smokers. Packers smoking and packing student gear as the article alledges is a problem. .



Subsitute the word "smoking" with "drinking." Then you have a substantive number of precedent-setting situations.
This is no different.
Now...if you're providing services to the military, then you have a completely different situation.

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It occurs to me that if you really want to be sure that substance abuse isn't putting your business at risk, you need to test the jumpers too.

Any one of them could do something that brings down the whole airplane.

A truly safe operation needs to have all involved in that safety.

Your staff deserves that same peace of mind as your customers do.

So, if you test the staff, test the jumpers too.

We're all in this together.



I can't tell if you're really serious or are using a bit of facetious hyperbole as a teaching example. If you're really serious, then, for example, car rental companies and ski slopes (slippery slope indeed!) should do the same thing with all of their customers, too.

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What are people thoughts on requiring a drug test to obtain an instructional/coach rating with USPA?



Me? strangely enough, even though I am against the testing on a whole, I am for it! It is a rocky road...the test don't give time tables as they need to..

BUT, would I want my sister to make her first jump with a hung over TI? HELL NO....

Guess it comes down to , "who police's"?

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It occurs to me that if you really want to be sure that substance abuse isn't putting your business at risk, you need to test the jumpers too.

Any one of them could do something that brings down the whole airplane.

A truly safe operation needs to have all involved in that safety.
Your staff deserves that same peace of mind as your customers do.

So, if you test the staff, test the jumpers too.

We're all in this together.



Good luck with that. I would venture to say that you couldn't find even one DZ that would even consider it.
:P

Willy
growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

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It occurs to me that if you really want to be sure that substance abuse isn't putting your business at risk, you need to test the jumpers too.

Any one of them could do something that brings down the whole airplane.

A truly safe operation needs to have all involved in that safety.

Your staff deserves that same peace of mind as your customers do.

So, if you test the staff, test the jumpers too.

We're all in this together.



I can't tell if you're really serious or are using a bit of facetious hyperbole as a teaching example. If you're really serious, then, for example, car rental companies and ski slopes (slippery slope indeed!) should do the same thing with all of their customers, too.



Well, that's sort of hard to answer. I suppose I'll have to say "facetious hyperbole".

But, there is some truth to the idea that if you drug test some, you really need to drug test all.

I don't like that idea even a little bit, but if some people really think drug tests are needed, then they really should take it to the proper conclusion, and test the customers too.

What Matt says is true that in our US society today, it is up to the business owner to make this decision. Just as some dropzones mandate AADs, they can mandate drug testing.

I really do think that if they are going to test the staff, they should also be testing the customers, because anybody in the plane should be cold sober while they are there.

So, in that I don't think anybody would ever actually consider it, I was facetious.

But, if someone really does want to mandate drug testing, let him do it all the way.

I suspect they would quickly find sound business reasons to stop.

-paul

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I know a tandem instructor who has been in the sport around 20 years, he was telling me about ten years ago the drop zone he was working at at the time wanted to start advertising as the only drop zone in that metro area which drug tested all of their staff, and they put this guy in charge. Well so he would go around every few weeks and randomly draw out some of the instructors and ask for their pee, and there were a few which always said that they couldn't take the test that week. When he confronted the DZO about it he was told to let it go.

TL;DR- Random drug testing is not always random, its a nice idea until you have to fire someone you don't want to.
"Do you really want to take advice from the guy we call Tarmac?"

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You got me there. I should have said, "I'd hate to be the lawyer who had to defend the DZO in the lawsuit . . ." I don't think too many lawyers would argue the position that daily pot use by anyone working at a DZ is not a safety issue.



is daily alcohol use by someone on the dropzone a safety issue?

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is daily alcohol use by someone on the dropzone a safety issue?


As long as it is 8 hours between bottle and throttle there is no issue. (Assuming you didn't binge drink over 8 servings an hour).
THC is absorved by fat cells and can remain detectable in the body for weeks. Daily use would be detectable, and you would be considered under the influence of mind altering drugs.
For the same reason I jump off a perfectly good diving board.

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is daily alcohol use by someone on the dropzone a safety issue?


As long as it is 8 hours between bottle and throttle there is no issue. (Assuming you didn't binge drink over 8 servings an hour).
THC is absorved by fat cells and can remain detectable in the body for weeks. Daily use would be detectable, and you would be considered under the influence of mind altering drugs.



actually there are multiple compounds of thc. thc 9 is what makes you high, and that is only detectable while you are high. it is still in your system but doesnt cause you to stay high for weeks.
"Never grow a wishbone, where your backbone ought to be."

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THC is absorved by fat cells and can remain detectable in the body for weeks. Daily use would be detectable, and you would be considered under the influence of mind altering drugs.



Which of course is mindless.

One of the most mindless things, of course, is that, because THC stays detectable for weeks, it drives employees subject to drug testing to much more dangerous drugs such as alcohol,cocaine and heroin.

Most importantly, of course, the presence of THC metabolytes does not in any way shape or form even remotely correlate to impairment, so the whole thing is ridiculous.

What is not ridiculous is employers wanting employees to be able to PERFORM properly at work, and thus testing which MEASURES PERFORMANCE, not bloodstream composition, is what needs to become more widespread because, guess what -- emotional upsets and distractions are a bigger cause of workplace misphaps than drugs and alcohol combined and drug tests do not detect that now, do they?

Check this out:

Computer assisted performance tests already exist and, in fact, have been used by NASA for years on astronauts and test pilots. These tests can actually measure hand-eye coordination and response time, do not invade people's privacy, and can improve safety far better than drug tests can.

Here's another one:

While pre-employment and random drug testing can help employers detect applicants or employees who abuse illegal substances, the tests are not 100 percent effective in spotting an impaired worker. Stress and fatigue may be the two most troubling factors for employers that are trying to create a safer work environment, because stress and fatigue cannot be measured by biochemical testing. Therefore, some employers have turned to testing an employee's ability to perform a safety-sensitive job. These job performance exams are generally computer-based and check an employee's visual acuity, coordination and reaction time.

"A performance test is a much less intrusive procedure than a drug test," said Wendy Colby, marketing director of Performance Factors of Golden, Colo. "We have found that employees overwhelmingly prefer the performance test over a drug-testing program."

Performance Factors markets Factor 1000, a computer-based test that is relatively new to the market. Even though the exam was developed nearly 30 years ago by NASA to check the performance skills of astronauts, the technology was made available to the general public just a few years ago. The test measures responses while the test subject tries to keep a diamond-shaped cursor aligned with the center of the screen. The cursor moves randomly and quickly, so the subject's responses must be fast and accurate.

Each person establishes a baseline score and must match that score to pass the test. Baseline scores are unique to each individual, which means employees cannot "beat the system" by having a friend take the test.

The test takes only 30 seconds to complete, and employees have eight chances to match or beat their baseline score. If they fail, then the employer can reassign them for the day or request that they take the day off.

Using objective-reality-based performance testing instead of politically-based "drug testing" is a far superior way to make sure your employees are up to doing their jobs on a given day -- unless, of course, you want to impose and enforce your personal opinions and views on how those employees live and what choices they make when they are not on the job.

To be brutally blunt about it, drug testing is just sharia disguised as concern for workplace safety; it has only the most tenuous relationship or correlation to actual workplace safety -- but a strong correlation to endangering a free society.

B|
SCR-6933 / SCS-3463 / D-5533 / BASE 44 / CCS-37 / 82d Airborne (Ret.)

"The beginning of wisdom is to first call things by their right names."

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That's easy - just show up high as a kite when you set your baseline, and yer good! ;)

In all seriousness though, measurement based on PERFORMANCE abilities although can be argued to be ideal, unfortunately are not the standard however, by which accident investigators will also measure, post incident.

So long as "authorities" are drawing blood, and/or reporting/relying on (and family attorneys, the courts etc., etc.) using sample contaminant measures as their standard - this system is really nothing more than wishful banter, a complete "non-starter" right from the get-go (and wasted expense in any case) even unfortunately, as it may pertain (or I assert not) in real world application. At least as it stands in current standards (social) systems. [:/]
coitus non circum - Moab Stone

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